That’s a wrap: Golfdom Summit recap, part 3

By |  May 7, 2019 0 Comments
Quali-Pro team with superintendents (Photo: Abby Hart)

Superintendents talked to Quali-Pro about some of their major turf challenges: summer patch and dollar spot. (Photo: Abby Hart)

The 2018 Golfdom Summit was the largest ever, with 20 companies showing their wares to superintendents from around the country. The team at Golfdom at first was nervous about the larger group, but with some nimble planning, the challenge of hosting 20 partners became a success.

“Two things came together to make this the most successful Golfdom Summit ever — having 20 partners and having the superintendents meet in groups of two with each partner,” said Golfdom Publisher Craig MacGregor. “Having two supers with each partner made the conversations flow more naturally, and it also meant every superintendent got quality time with every partner and vice versa.”

Intelligro team with superintendents (Photo: Abby Hart)

Intelligro explained how Civitas Turf Defense, a fungicide and insecticide, can improve a course’s pest management program. (Photo: Abby Hart)

Brad Sladek, technical service manager for Intelligro, said having two superintendents meeting with him and Sales Account Manager Tony McKenna made the Summit both successful and exciting. The best-case scenario for him was when one of the superintendents used Civitas and the other did not.

“It’s one thing to hear about a product from a service manager, but it’s a very different thing to hear it from a fellow superintendent who is using our product,” Sladek said. “It was the first Summit I had been to, but the format change really helped us … it reduced anxiety and opened up a nice dialogue with the superintendents.”

Because of this success, MacGregor said the 2019 Golfdom Summit is again close to being sold out, with only three spots left for sponsoring partners. Companies already committed to the 2019 Golfdom Summit include:

  • The Andersons
  • BlueBird
  • Klingstone
  • FairwayiQ
  • FMC Corp.
  • Frost
  • Healthy Grow
  • Nufarm
  • PBI-Gordon
  • Pogo Turf Pro
  • Quali-Pro
  • Sipcam Agro USA
  • Smithco
  • Oregon
  • U.S. Aqua Vac
  • WinField United
  • Turfco

Quali-Pro

Listening and learning were the primary objectives for Quali-Pro at the 2018 Golfdom Summit, according to Nicholas Strain, the company’s business director.

“We are here (at the Summit) to know the things we need to develop,” Strain said. “We’re in that development mode where we’re trying to find new things for superintendents to help with their (turf) problems.”

Cub Cadet team and superintendents (Photo: Kelly Limpert)

The Cub Cadet team demonstrated their Infinicut line of mowers on the Reunion Resort practice greens. (Photo: Kelly Limpert)

Through interactions with the superintendents in attendance, Strain said he and the rest of the Quali-Pro team gained some insight into the extreme weather issues many courses had to combat, particularly in the Northeast, which saw unusually high heat and humidity last year.

Strain said that with those extreme temperatures came increased disease pressure from summer patch, as well as from dollar spot.

“Dollar spot is always the big one,” Strain said. “That’ll always be the one we’ll have to stay focused on.”

In addition to determining what types of products should come down the pipeline, Quali-Pro showcased two of its current products: Enclave, a snow mold and spring dead spot combatant, and Negate, an herbicide for use in the South to help clear out grassy and broadleaf weeds.

“With Enclave, it’s not just a northern product, but (superintendents can also) think about it as a southern turf product,” Strain said, referring to the product’s ability to help contend with spring dead spot.

Intelligro

The Andersons team with superintendents (Photo: Kelly Limpert)

The Andersons talked to Summit attendees about how their products can help decrease overapplication of chemicals. (Photo: Kelly Limpert)

Intelligro, a subsidiary of PetriCanada Lubricants in Ontario, Canada, produces a wide array of turf and plant protection products, including a line implemented in rose gardens and vineyards.

Wine and roses, however, were not the focus of Intelligro at the 2018 Golfdom Summit.

The company instead highlighted its main product for the golf course: Civitas Turf Defense.

A paraffin wax product derived from mineral oil, Civitas Turf Defense is a fungicide and insecticide superintendents can use to improve integrated pest management efficiencies and deliver protection against other stresses, according to the company.

“For those of you who are aware, you know that it’s a unique product that takes some dissecting,” Intelligro’s Sales Account Manager Tony McKenna told Summit attendees.

He added that it was his (but not Intelligro’s) first time participating in the Summit and that he was excited to have some Civitas users in attendance.

Brad Sladek, technical services advisor, said that while Civitas is not new, the product does require explanation concerning how it works — which made the Summit’s small group setting ideal.

“Because of how our product works, it can be very specific in how it fits in with each program, so we like to see where it fits in,” Sladek said. “(Civitas) was launched 10 years ago as a fungicide, but what we’ve learned is (that) on the abiotic side, it can really help. Whether the stress is drought, cold, traffic … we can find a use. Our product is helping the plant do more of what it is already naturally doing.”

Cub Cadet

Cub Cadet and its parent company, MTD, are expanding through the development of new products and acquisitions.

One of these new products is the Infinicut RGX robotic mower, which was zipping around on the practice putting green at the Golfdom Summit. The model on display was so new, in fact, that Cub Cadet asked attendees to not post photos of the robotic mower to social media, as what they were seeing was a prototype. Indeed, the version on display at the 2019 Golf Industry Show looked different.

The mower is a hybrid in the sense that it takes a sports turf mower’s strengths and applies that cutting technology to a robotic mower, said Tony Whelan, director of sales and marketing for Cub Cadet’s specialty turf products division.

“We’re taking the success of the Infinicut mowers — used at venues like Real Madrid, Wimbledon, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto FC — and applying it to the success of the RG3 robotic mowers, and the result is the Infinicut RGX,” Whelan said. The RG3 mowers are powered by lead-acid batteries, and the new RGX models will have all lithium batteries and a new positioning system.

“A lot of people, when they first see it, they think in terms of productivity and no labor,” Whelan adds. The machine has the ability to cut and roll, so it saves time, and because it operates robotically, it saves labor.

Whelan told Summit attendees about Justin Daigle, the superintendent at Perry Park Country Club in Larkspur, Colo., who was able to get to the list of jobs he always wanted to get to but never had the time, because this machine operates on its own.

It also eliminates footprints on the green before the players get to it. Daigle also found that with a walk-behind mower, there were about 1,600 footprints on the green before players even set foot on them. So, an additional benefit of the Infinicut RGX is an improved playing surface, Whelan noted.

The Andersons

The Andersons may have started out as Andersons Truck Terminal in the 1940s as an agribusiness for the grain industry, but the company’s goal at the 2018 Golfdom Summit was to showcase a few of its more modern turf health products.

“We wanted to give attendees more detailed info on the products we featured during the boardroom meeting the first day,” said Tony Atchison, territory sales manager for The Andersons. “We also wanted to get feedback on what products they were using of ours currently.”

At the Summit, the company, which is based in Maumee, Ohio, highlighted products such as HCU, Foltec SG and Contec DG Gen 3. HCU, or humic-coated urea, is a nitrogen source featuring urea-humate fusion. A foliar nutrient technology, Foltec SG is a proprietary combination of dry soluble granules (SG) that quickly solubilize in the spray tank. Gen 3 granules are homogeneous, allowing for a consistent spread pattern. The granules also stand out against turf, making it easy to see where product has been applied, decreasing the possibility of overapplication, according to the company.

“(The Golfdom Summit) provides us a great opportunity to interact with customers and get feedback on other opportunities so we can help with their agronomy needs,” Atchison said.

Capillary Concrete

Capillary Concrete is a polymer-based concrete that can move water up and down to regulate the moisture content of sand. But more than a technology to help superintendents move water through sand, Capillary Concrete also helps superintendents move dollars.

“Fifty years from now, financing bunker renovations is going to be very common,” said Martin Sternberg, CEO of Capillary Concrete. But for the time being, Capillary Concrete is the only bunker renovation company that allows renovations to be financed, he said.

Operational risk is associated with how much money superintendents spend to fix something. Bunkers represent more than 50 percent of the operational risk of a golf course. Courses only need a couple inches of rain to completely wipe out a bunker, Sternberg told the Golfdom Summit audience.

“If you get hit with a really bad storm, or a hurricane, you aren’t going to be in as bad of a situation as you would if you didn’t have this,” Sternberg said.

To learn more about the Golfdom Summit, visit GolfdomSummit.com.

See part 1 of the Summit recap here and part 2 here.



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